STORIES from a missionary: Sean Dietrich

2.14.2015 |

matthew 28:19 says "go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  Though Sean never thought he would be the one fulfilling the great commission, he describes his trip to Mynamar where he worked at various orphanages.  Read his story below:

Overseas missions is something that 3.5 years ago I said I would never do. I remember believing that I was going to be the person with enough money to be send others, but I never imagined going myself. That summer my leader told me he had a feeling that God was going to flip that on me, and that is what he did. During that school year I would attend a mobilization retreat in Indianapolis where there was a breakout group for those interested in serving the nations from the US. For me, doing so consisted of being introduced to the Burmese Refugees that were gathered in Indianapolis. I still, to this day, remember their joy at just having someone come and spend time with them. 

God revealed a piece of his plan for my life that day; seeing their joy, I knew I wanted to work with them. God started orchestrating a plan that it would take me months to recognize what he was doing. I knew I wanted to serve the Church and the Nations while being stateside, especially since I did not want to go overseas. During my last year at college, I spent the summer down in Orlando as part of our summer project. Shortly after leaving, I did not have a job, but knew God was calling me to Indianapolis. One week after arriving in Indy he had placed me in a job, an apartment, and in a Church plant where I could start serving almost immediately.

Shortly after arriving in Indianapolis, our team was gathered to go and work with the Burmese refugee boys. We lived life with these boys: playing games and then opening the Jesus Story Book Bible. Seeing their joy as we spent time with them, I started to develop a deep affection for them and everyone like them. I wanted to see their home land, to see where they came from. I packed my bags and did what would have been unthinkable a few years earlier, though I knew I was following God. I went to a foreign nation with a help of Operation Mobilization (OM). I was headed to Malaysia to meet my team for the very first time.  We all gathered for a small mission’s conference just outside Kupla Lamar, Malaysia. There were a 168 people gathered from 28 different countries, all with different languages. 

I saw Psalm 86:9 for the first time.
“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.” 
I got to experience that day a small glimpse of Heaven. 

We spoke about Acts 1:8.
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." 
This was the great charge from Jesus to send out people out into the world to proclaim the gospel. We tend to stick to our Jerusalem, because it is our comfort, we might branch out to Judea or Samaria, but few want to go to the ends of the Earth. God is passionate about his bride, he is passionate about his Church. Though persecution, it must not drive us from our work, but it may send us to work elsewhere. 
Acts 8:1 – “And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles."
This rattled me, I was growing uncomfortable there in Malaysia already, and I haven’t even made it to Myanmar yet. Since knowing that the Burmese Refugees were forced out and persecuted for their Christian faith. 

After the conference we arrived in Myanmar where we would meet the rest of our group, the local team that is there to serve the people of Yangon, Myanmar. We would be giving that team a much needed rest as they continued to work alongside the people there. Our main goal was to teach English, but we also worked with kindergarten classes and went and visited 3 of the 6 orphanages. Some of the most fun and heartbreaking times were the times spent in those orphanages. They would have up to 60 kids at some of them with very little adult help. The children sent there by their parents. With the parents knowing that they would have a better life there than in their current conditions back home. YES, THESE KIDS HAVE PARENTS, kind of mind blowing when you think about it.
Myanmar is one of the top 25 most unreached countries. I am sure many of you know Adoniram Judson, if not he was the first American missionary to Burma. He gave his life to the people there, and through his life 95% of the population in Chin state are Believers. Despite his life, Myanmar is still 90% Buddhist, and is still in need of the Gospel. 

3.5 years ago I said I would never go overseas. Well, I went. And now I continue to see that it is God’s calling on my life. I was being challenged at a conference to pray as it is said in 1 Peter 4:7 
“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers."
Our prayers, at least for me, don’t always seem to stay on subject. I might be thinking what I am having for lunch, or what I have to do at work tomorrow. We have perfected multi-tasking, and we try to multi-task in prayer. Like Moses on the mountain, our prayer life needs to be focused on God, and not have our minds wondering elsewhere in prayer to Him. That day it was very clear to me that my leap of faith will be to pray like Isaiah 6:8 
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” 

I am here saying again, here I am! Send me. Only the Lord knows the time that I will go, I am just willing to be his hands and feet in the process. 

For those of you that want to see your faith grow, I pray that you start as I did. Visit a country on a mission trip, you never know where it will take you. If nothing else, it will give you more of an appreciation of what you have at home.

for more information about Operation Mobilization, please click HERE

up next:  Nicole Lee shares her story of living missionally in College Town, USA

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